Be open-minded, not to be limited by any thinking and belief

Most of the ‘unnecessary problems’ in the world, of fear, animosity, hostility, discrimination, prejudice, racism, hatred, unjust, bullying, invasion, intrusion, condemn, unrest, violence, oppression, clashes, conflicts, killings, wars, and etc, is due to most minds are limited by a particular thinking and belief that influence one’s judgment towards everything, way of life, way of doing things, behavior, action and reaction. It’s not because there are many different kinds of thinking and belief that create the sense of separateness that is responsible for the ‘problems’ in the world. It’s not that there will be no more ‘problems’ in the world if all minds have one same thinking and belief.

The sense of separateness is coming from the mind itself due to ignorance and egoism, it’s not coming from the different qualities of names and forms. The minds that are free from ignorance and egoism are free from the sense of separateness even though the minds perceive all the names and forms that are different from one another.

The different kinds of thinking and belief are just what they are. They are neither good nor bad. It doesn’t matter there is only one type of thinking and belief exists in the world, or there are many types of thinking and belief co-exist in the world, they are not the ‘problem’.

Some people try to convert or reform everyone in their society or in the world to have only one uniform of thinking and belief to solve ‘problems’ in their society or in the world. It doesn’t help, as even under the same family, the same culture, the same religion, the same society, the same race, the same nationality, or the same political party, there will always be different opinions/points of view/likes and dislikes/agreements and disagreements that generate conflicts/discrimination/bullying/oppression/unrest/tension among one another due to ignorance and egoism of pride and arrogance, superiority and defensiveness towards ‘I’.

Even children would hurt their own parents, and vice versa, or lovers/spouse/siblings will hurt each other either intentionally or unintentionally due to ignorance and egoism. Out of ignorance, there are painful consequences onto oneself and others derived from actions being performed under the influence of passionate lustful desires, intoxicants and drugs abuse, mischievous and destructive urge, survival instinct, fear, greed, dissatisfaction, disappointment, anger, jealousy, hurts, irritation, agitation, obsession, possessiveness, pride, boredom, mental illness, ill-will and ill-thinking, and all sorts of impurities.

The ‘problem’ is ignorance and egoism, regardless of what type of thinking and belief/disbelief.

It’s when the mind attached onto and identified with any particular thinking and belief and certain qualities of names and forms as ‘I’ or ‘my family/community/race/culture/nation/religion’, and generates pride and arrogance, superiority and defensiveness towards the attachment and identification towards such thinking and belief and qualities of names and forms to judge and condemn and interfere with others whom are different from oneself, whom one dislikes and disagrees with, based on one’s particular thinking and belief, that’s where all the problems begin.

It’s not about not thinking in certain ways or not believe in anything. Autonomously, the mind will be thinking in certain ways and believing/disbelieving in certain things. And it’s fine, as long as there’s no attachment or identification, the sense of pride and arrogance, superiority and defensiveness towards that particular way of thinking and the belief and disbelief about certain things in the mind. This mind won’t be offended/threatened/intimidated by any other kinds of thinking and belief that are different from it’s thinking and what it believes or disbelieves.

It’s about being open-minded, unattached towards any particular thinking and belief to be identifying as ‘I’, and see things as they are, without being limited by any particular thinking and belief to judge and interfere with everyone and everything, allowing everyone and everything to be different from one another, to be what they are, as they are, without expecting everyone and everything has to be the way according to any particular kind of thinking and belief/disbelief.

Yoga and meditation practice is about freeing the mind from ignorance and egoism of attachment and identification towards any particular thinking and belief, letting go or be free from being limited or determined by any family/cultural/social/religious/spiritual/racial/national/political thinking and belief, to allow the mind to be opened to see things as they are, be free from judgment and expectation. The mind will also be free from desire of craving and aversion towards what the mind likes and dislikes, agrees with and disagrees with, that are based on particular thinking and belief.

This mind will have peace, regardless of how many kinds of thinking and belief that are different from one another are existing in the world.

More important is that, regardless of all the different kinds of thinking and belief/disbelief, whether the mind believes or disbelieves in ‘God’, ‘spirituality’, ‘ghost’, ‘evil spirits’, ‘angels’, ‘karma’, ‘reincarnation’, ‘heaven and hell’, ‘black magic’, ‘astrology’, ‘miracles’, ‘auspiciousness/inauspiciousness’, and so on, the truth is still the same – The existence and function of the body and mind, and all the names and forms (quality of good or bad) is subject to impermanence and selflessness.

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Looking after our minds…

Yoga practice is looking after our minds particularly through observing certain observation and restriction of mental and physical activities to purify our thinking patterns, actions and speech in everyday life, besides performing some forms of physical and breathing exercises (Yoga Asana and Pranayama) to assist and support concentration and meditation practice (Dharana and Dhyana), to know the truth and be free from being determined or disturbed by the world of impermanent names and forms.

If our minds are highly sensitive towards all the names and forms that the mind perceives through the senses, and easily be affected by the pleasant and unpleasant qualities of name and form, and being restless being influenced and disturbed by the perceptions of names and forms, then we need to have certain degrees of limitation, or restriction, or filtration of what types of input that come in contact with the mind.

When the mind develops a strong foundation of non-attachment and non-identification, then all kinds of observation are unnecessary, and there’s no need of limitation, or restriction, or filtration of what types of input that come in contact with the mind.

The practice of disassociation and non-identification with any names and forms is our basic yoga practice.

The worldly minded minds will want to avoid this type of yoga practice, and criticize this type of practice as anti-social and ‘unhuman’. The worldly minded minds identify with the name and form of ‘human beings’ – “I am a human being. I am a good human being. Good human beings should have such and such qualities, should behave in such and such ways, or else we are bad human beings.” We don’t just expect ourselves as human beings we should behave in certain ways, but we also expect other ‘human beings’ also conform to our own projection and expectation, constantly generate separateness, conflicts, arguments, discrimination and hatred in oneself and others.

Yoga and meditation practice is not about strengthening or securing the worldly identification with certain qualities of name and form as this or that, but it’s to drop off any identifications with any names and forms, realize non-separateness, or oneness beyond all the qualities of name and form.

It’s the same as when we identify ourselves with a particular type of ‘origin’, ‘nation’, ‘culture’, ‘religion’, ‘ethnic’, ‘personality’, ‘professionalism’, ‘behavior’, ‘gender’, ‘sexual orientation’, ‘political group’, ‘social group’, ‘yoga practitioner’, ‘yoga teacher’, ‘yoga lineage’, or ‘yoga group’, we are not free.

Even by identifying oneself as a ‘divine being’ or ‘spiritual being’ is also not free from identification with qualities of name and form, and separateness.

Fear, discrimination (including discrimination of friends or not friends, human beings or non-human beings), pride and arrogance derive from separateness due to the identification with name and form. Unless we are free from fear, discrimination, pride and arrogance, there’s no discrimination of friends or not friends, human beings or non-human beings, or else we can’t be truly compassionate even though we would like to be a compassionate being.

Om shanti.

About separateness, racism, discrimination and hatred…

Unity doesn’t come from making everyone going to the same school getting the same type of education, nor learning and speaking the same language, nor having the same economical and social status, nor having the same cultural values, religion practice, personal thinking and beliefs. It is about learning to allow and respect everyone to be different from one another, to have the different qualities of names and forms, allow everyone to be learning and speaking different languages, to have different economical and social status, cultural values, religion practice, personal thinking and beliefs.

The schools with different types of medium in our multi racial country is definitely not the cause of separateness, racism, discrimination or hatred as some people might think it is.

In the school with a specific medium that emphasizes on certain traditional cultural values, language and writing gives us the opportunity to learn about the important traditional values comes from a certain cultural background, and to be able to preserve and pass on all these cultural values, language and writing to the next generations. At the same time, we are also being taught to respect other people with different languages, cultures, religions practice and ways of living, even though we don’t know much about all these different qualities of names and forms that everyone has. And it’s not necessarily that we have to learn and practice about different types of languages, cultures, religion practice, or ways of living, for us to show respect to anyone who is different from us.

No matter how much differences there is among the different languages, cultural backgrounds or religion practices, we do have one same traditional humanity values that is beyond all the different qualities of names and forms, which is in-discriminative love, tolerance and respect, to live in peace and harmony among all beings who are different from one another.

I had my primary education in Chinese medium and secondary education in Malay medium. My elder sister had both her primary and secondary education in English medium. My two brothers had their primary and secondary education in Malay medium.

In school and outside of school, we all have friends from different religions, racial, educational and cultural backgrounds. In our Chinese family, we have mix marriages with Malays, Indians and Europeans. We have many mix parentage cousins.

If we don’t have French friends, or Thai friends, or any other different nationalities friends, it doesn’t mean that we discriminate or hate them. It is not necessarily that we have to have personal friendships with all and everyone to show that we are free from discrimination and hatred. It is no matter we have personal friendships with different types of people or not, we can be friendly and open-minded towards everyone, allowing and respecting all and everyone to be who and what they are.

Even though in Chinese medium schools, the majority of the students are Chinese, as the Chinese would like to preserve and pass on the Chinese language, writing and culture. In Tamil medium schools, the majority of the students are Indians, as the Indians would like to preserve and pass on the Indian language, writing and culture. And in Malay medium schools, the majority of the students are Malays, as the Malays would like to preserve and pass on the Malay language, writing and culture. But, this doesn’t mean that we dislike and disrespect other different languages, writings and cultures, if we don’t learn or know about them. This is not a reason for anyone to have discrimination or hatred towards other races who are different from us in this country.

For example, although we don’t know about some other countries, or their people, language and culture, but that can’t be a reason for us to feel separateness from these countries, or to discriminate and hate their people, language and culture. We don’t need to know about certain country, their history background, language, religion and culture, for us to be friendly and respect the people from that country, who are having different qualities of names and forms from us.

Our parents, our ancestor’s culture, and our schools teachers (at that time) never told us or taught us to have racism, or discrimination, or hatred towards others who have different religions, races, social status, educational and cultural backgrounds from us.

Sometimes, even among the same nationality, same race, same culture, same religion, speaking the same language, or having the same education, people still have discrimination and hatred among each other. This reflects that discrimination and hatred is an issue of personal thinking and behavior (the egoism). It is not because of the existence of different types of nationalities, races, cultures, religions, languages and educations.

Even if we get everyone to be learning the same language, same culture, same religion practice, or same education system, but that doesn’t guarantee that everyone will have the same thinking, behavior, personality, values of life existence, and will be respecting and live in harmony with each other. Again, it’s about respect all the different qualities of names and forms that everyone has, and it’s not about only to have one same quality of name and form in everyone.

Once we allow and respect all the different qualities of names and forms to be existing in this world, do not try to interfere with one another different types of thinking, beliefs and behavior, nor try to change others who are different from us to be like us, then we are going beyond all the qualities of names and forms, realizing the oneness or non-separateness of attributelessness, namelessness and formlessness, which is the true nature in all beings of who we really are.

My parents never went to schools, but we were taught to be kind, to love and respect one another without discrimination, and be tolerant towards others with different skin colours, race, appearances, languages spoken, thinking, beliefs, religion practice, social status, educational and cultural backgrounds. My parents gave helps to many people who needed help or assistance without any discriminations or preferences of race or religion. My parents taught us that we don’t have to look down on ourselves or anyone else, nor do we need to envy anyone else. Whenever they came in contact with beings who encountered difficulty and needed help, they gave their assistance without asking anything in return, even though they were not educated nor rich.

Our schools teachers (with different races and religions) and the text books in different mediums at schools (at that time) taught us to be tolerant and respect one another, and to learn how to live in harmony with other people within the family, the neighbourhood, the country, and the world. We were taught to help each other when in difficulties. We were never taught to feel and think that we are somehow more superior than anyone, nor be arrogant, discriminative, racist, or to have hatred towards others who are different from us.

Our teachers (at that time) didn’t teach us to discriminate or to hate anyone, not to our family members, our neighbours, our community, other schools students, other races, other religions, other cultures, or other nationalities, even though at schools, we learn about history, geography, science, mathematics, arts, morality and living skills in a specific language and writing. We have different types of competitions at our own school and inter schools, but we were also being taught about sportsmanships.

We don’t need to be able to speak specific language or to practice their culture and beliefs to show love and respect to other people who speak that particular language, and having that particular culture and beliefs. Love and respect is beyond languages, cultures and beliefs.

We might say that our thinking, beliefs and behavior can be influenced a lot by our parents, our friends, our neighbourhood, our community, our teachers, our education, our cultural values, our religion practice, our social network, our political leaders and public medias, but that only happens to those who are not free from ignorance and impurities yet, who are still identifying with the mind, the thinking, the beliefs and the egoism that attached to certain qualities of names and forms to be who we are.

If we know the truth of names and forms, if we are free from ignorance and impurities, if we let go of the identification with the mind, the thinking, the beliefs and the ego with certain qualities of names and forms, then we are who we are. We are not affected, nor influenced, nor determined by any different qualities of names and forms, ideas, thinking, beliefs, cultural and religion practice.

When we know the truth, we don’t need to identify ourselves with any qualities of names and forms. If there’s no identification with the different qualities of names and forms, there’s no separateness between us and everyone else. It doesn’t matter from the appearance, we all are having different types of qualities of names and forms.

Separateness, racism, discrimination and hatred exist in us due to individual veil of ignorance in the mind. Because of ignorance, we are over-powered and influenced by impurities in our own mind, especially fear, as well as our untrained mind is easily being manipulated and influenced by external ideas and information, social and public medias, and political influences. Fear is the foundation for separateness, racism, discrimination, hatred, jealousy, animosity, self-protection, defensiveness and offensiveness to arise in us.

If we are free from ignorance and impurities, if we know the true nature of everyone and everything, we won’t be manipulated nor influenced by any ideas, information, social and public medias, or political influences coming from anybody or any organizations, whether they are true or false, whether they are right or wrong.

Have peace in ourselves by allowing and respecting other beings to be different from us, and not trying to make other beings to be the same like us.

There is nothing wrong with everyone having different qualities of names and forms. It is okay to be different from one another. We just need to allow and respect ourselves and others to be different from one another. Beyond all the different qualities of names and forms, all beings have the same attributeless, nameless and formless nature.

If we don’t want to see discrimination, racism and hatred in our society, then stop being one. Most of the time, we don’t realize ourselves is also being discriminating when we criticize others for their cultural values, religious practice and beliefs that we disagree with and dislike. If others want to be discriminating and racist, that is their freedom of thinking, action and speech.

Om shanti.